Hardships often prepare ordinary people for
We're often told that nothing worth keeping in life comes easy. If we want something, we have to work hard for it. Becoming a marathon runner often means losing your pinkie toenail. Ouch! While staying the course, the runner will feel aches and pains over their whole body, and could quit at any time and stop the pain, but to be a true marathon runner means staying in the race.
That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God,
who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
Command and teach these things.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture,
to preaching and to teaching.
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy
when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them,
so that everyone may see your progress.
Watch your life and doctrine closely.
Persevere in them, because if you do,
you will save both yourself and your hearers.(1 Timothy 4:10-16)
In order to stay the course, we have to make up our minds and set it. Persevere, watch closely, be diligent, devout ourselves. It's all about keeping our focus on God and the end goal... freedom. If we waver and can't make up our minds, then we'll consider quitting an option. Once quitting is not an option, that's when we'll see the fruits of our labor.
The last six miles are the hardest in a marathon, when you've already got twenty miles behind you and you only have six left, many people find that's when the doubts come in on whether they can finish it or not. If we quit when we're almost at the end of our goal, we'll have to start over again at mile one next time, and pushing past those last six miles won't be any easier than this time.
If we worry that we can't do this, we need to see things God's way. We need to remember that we're already a winner. When trouble comes our way, we have to remember that God sees how this ends, and we've already won.
But thanks be to God,
who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession
and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
He always leads us in triumph... always.
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philipians 1:6)
Even if we keep messing things up, He won't give up on us. He picked us because He saw us as winners, so expect Him to keep at us until we become exactly what He knows we can be... victorious. More than conquerors.
We've got this.
He believes in us.
Our turn to believe in Him and push past whatever hardships are standing in our way and keep striving until we reach the finish line.